Question No. 22 answered with Question No. 17.

Estimates Process

Questions (23)

Michael Moynihan

Question:

23. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he expects any Supplementary Estimates to be needed in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42498/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

At the end-September, 2013, the aggregate net voted total expenditure position was 2.7% (or €879 million) below profile, with all Departments broadly in line with profile.

On the current expenditure side, net current spending was 1.9% (or €574 million) below profile in the first 9 months of the year. On the capital side, net voted capital expenditure at the end September amounted to €1.5 billion, which is 17% (€305 million) below profile.

Each Minister and their Department are responsible for ensuring adherence with the Vote-level allocation for their area. My Department will continue to monitor all current and capital Departmental expenditure on a monthly basis and will work with Departments to ensure they can adhere to the expenditure ceilings set for them. At this point, the performance for the year to date is encouraging and it is too early to comment on the potential requirements for supplementary estimates by year-end.

National Lottery Licence Sale

Questions (24)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

24. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when details of the new national lottery licence holder will be announced. [42514/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I announced on 3rd October 2013 that Premier Lotteries Ireland Limited, a consortium comprising Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (the owner of the Camelot Group), An Post and An Post pension funds, has been selected as the preferred applicant for the next National Lottery licence.

Discussions on finalising the terms of the licence will commence shortly between the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Preferred Applicant. These discussions are scheduled to be completed in November 2013 with a signature date in December 2013.

Freedom of Information Remit

Questions (25)

Niall Collins

Question:

25. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to restrict public private partnerships from the full terms of the proposed freedom of information legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42481/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Freedom of Information Bill 2013, which I am currently sponsoring, passed Second Stage in the Dail last Thursday (3 October 2013). Section 40(1) of the Bill as currently drafted, provides that access to a record may be withheld if its release could have a serious adverse effect on the ability of the Government to manage the national economy or financial interests of the State, could result in undue disturbance of the ordinary course of business, could reasonably be expected to have a negative impact on decisions by enterprises to invest or expand in the State or could reasonably be expected to result in an unwarranted benefit or loss to a person or class of person. Section 40(2) lists a range of records to which subsection (1) applies and includes records relating to advising on or managing PPPs. The section does not restrict access to such records automatically but only in the circumstances where the grounds in Section 40(1) as I have set out above apply.

Ministerial Pensions

Questions (26)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

26. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide in tabular form the post-Haddington Road agreement annual pension payment to former office holders and, where applicable, to provide former details of Ministers' and taoisigh TD pensions also in a separate column. [42512/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

All public service pensions above €32,500 were reduced on 1 July 2013 as provided for in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013; the Government's intention to proceed with this change was noted in the Haddington Road Agreement.

In addition, a further effective pension cut applies, with effect from 1 September 2013, in the case of persons who receive two or more public service pensions which have a combined value in excess of €32,500. This further pension cut is based on applying the "Public Service Pension Reduction" (PSPR) to the combined value of the multiple public service pensions held by such a person, rather than to each such pension individually. This aggregation of pensions for PSPR purposes reduces the overall public service pension income of affected pensioners, including significant numbers of pensioners who receive both a TD pension and a Ministerial pension.

Actual application of these PSPR aggregation-derived adjustments is currently in train across public service pensioner payrolls. The overall process is complicated by several factors, including the need in each case to make co-ordinated adjustments to at least two pensions, along with the different payroll schedules and payment periodicities of pensioner payrolls. On this basis it is - unfortunately - not possible at present to supply a finalised list of Ministerial and TD pension amounts which would comprehensively reflect all of the PSPR aggregation-related reductions impacting pensions with effect from 1 September 2013. I nonetheless expect that this information will be to hand shortly and I will have it forwarded directly to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.

Departmental Budgets

Questions (27)

Billy Timmins

Question:

27. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a standard form of financial management structures is in place in each Department. [42413/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Each Government Department has responsibility for its financial management structures which must comply with standard public financial procedures, including the Public Spending Code. The main features of formal management structures include business planning, effective systems of budgetary control, monitoring of performance, appraisal of projects and programmes, effective cash management and internal audit.

All Departments are funded through the annual Estimates process and in each Department, the Secretary General, as Accounting Officer, prepares an annual account, the Appropriation Account, which is audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. In each case, the accounts are accompanied by a Statement of Internal Financial Control. This confirms that appropriate mechanisms to review and evaluate the Department’s financial management and control systems are in place on an on-going basis. These accounts and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General are subsequently submitted to the Committee of Public Accounts for examination.

National Lottery Licence Sale

Questions (28)

Dara Calleary

Question:

28. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount of the proceeds of the sale of the national lottery licence that will be received this year; when he expects to receive the full proceeds; the current plans for spending the proceeds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42479/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As I announced on 3rd October 2013, Premier Lotteries Ireland Limited, a consortium comprising Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (the owner of the Camelot Group), An Post and An Post pension funds, has been selected as the preferred applicant for the next National Lottery licence. Premier Lotteries Ireland Limited has met the Essential Requirements provided for in the competition for the licence and has submitted the highest Licence Fee proposal which is 405 million euro.

Discussions on finalising the terms of the licence will commence shortly between the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Preferred Applicant. These discussions are scheduled to be completed in November with a signature date in December.

Under the terms of the new licence, half of the upfront payment is to be paid within ten working days of the signature of the licence. The remaining half of the upfront payment is to be paid within nine months of the signature of the licence.

I have made clear from the outset of this process that part of the upfront payment will be used to help build the new National Children’s Hospital. The purposes for which the remaining funds will be used will be decided in the context of the Budget.